“The heart of the new broadcast system that will merge the capabilities of broadcast and broadband to propel broadcasters into television’s next era” has been codified by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).
ATSC last week gave its approval to the Physical Layer transmission system for ATSC 3.0 next-generation television broadcasting, selecting it as a Final Standard.
The signal that the standardization process for the entire ATSC 3.0 process is nearing completion.
Companies including LG Electronics, which had a hand in the core technology development process, applauded the adoption.
“We are proud that LG technology is behind the majority of the elements of the Physical Layer transmission system and grateful to have been involved with many other experts in developing the new standard,” LG Electronics President and CTO Dr. Skott Ahn said.
Core technologies developed by LG, along with its U.S. R&D lab Zenith and GatesAir, are included in the majority of the new ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer Standard.
Key capabilities of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer include use of Single Frequency Networks, multiple physical layer pipes, and channel bonding. Selected technologies allow for data transmission with a wide range of guard intervals, forward error correction code lengths and code rates.
Multiple LG contributions to ATSC 3.0 in the new Physical Layer Standard include the scrambler, forward error correction, bit interleaver, mapper, time interleaver, OFDM framer, frequency interleaver, pilots, reserved tones, and guard interval functions.
“Broadcasters will soon be able to enjoy new levels of flexibility and offer new services to viewers, from 4K Ultra HD signals to TV ‘on the go’ that will be available on a wide variety of ATSC 3.0-enabled devices,” LG Senior Vice President Dr. Jong Kim, who also serves as President of the Zenith R&D lab, said.
Expected to redefine TV broadcasting for decades to come, the next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard will require higher capacity to deliver 4K UHD services, robust reception on mobile devices and improved spectrum efficiency. The increased payload capacity of the physical layer combined with HEVC encoding will allow broadcasters many more options when planning their broadcast service offerings.
Kim said LG technologies approved in the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer standard have been successfully verified in experimental broadcasts and field tests in the United States and in South Korea, which is expected to launch next-generation television using ATSC 3.0 in 2017.
“The hundreds of technology experts from around the world who have contributed their time and expertise to this process have selected the best and most flexible transmission system as the foundation of ATSC 3.0.,” said ATSC President Mark Richer. “While other ingredients of the ATSC 3.0 standard are still in the final stages of standardization, the approval of the over-the-air transmission system is a foundation for the future.”
Flexible, Robust and Efficient
The ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer (ATSC A/322) offers more flexibility, robustness and spectral efficiency than the current digital TV broadcast standard, which was approved by the FCC two decades ago.
With the new ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer, television broadcasters may choose from a wide variety of transmission parameters so that each station can tailor its signal to best serve its local market by providing the combination of services and coverage area best suited for the market and its terrain.
“We’re likely to see both 4K Ultra HD broadcasts running side-by-side with robust mobile broadcasts to handheld devices, thanks to the innate flexibility of ATSC 3.0’s Physical Layer,” Richer explained. “The system will allow high-capacity modes , and it also permits lower-capacity transmissions with extremely high robustness for receivers on the go.”
Representing a major milestone for ATSC 3.0, final approval of the A/322 Physical Layer standard reflects the momentum behind next-gen TV. Work continues apace on the other elements of the suite of ATSC 3.0 standards.
Earlier this year, the A/321 System Discovery and Signaling (colloquially called “the bootstrap”) part of the Physical Layer was standardized, and a number of other ATSC 3.0 standards are nearing the conclusion of the standardization process.
These “Proposed and Candidate Standards” will include video and Audio Compression, high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut and immersive sound, closed captioning, advanced emergency alerting, security, companion devices, personalization, applications & interactivity, watermarking & fingerprinting, and Internet Protocol delivery.
All told, some 20 standards are expected to be part of the final ATSC 3.0 suite of standards by early next year.
Development of ATSC 3.0 technologies represents the latest LG/Zenith innovation in digital television, which also includes key technologies utilized in the A/153 Mobile Digital TV Standard adopted by the industry in 2009. Zenith also invented the core transmission system at the heart of today’s ATSC A/53 Digital Television Standard, approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 1996.